The nation continues is slow, arduous trek toward the inevitable establishment of health insurance exchanges. Until very recently, the federal government has been very lax in terms of enforcing the mandate established by the Affordable Care Act that requires each state to erect their own insurance exchange program. Officials with the Department of Health and Human Services had originally wanted to allow time for states to warm to the notion of the exchanges, but have only been met with lukewarm interest. In fact, the rate at which states are building exchanges is so slow that it may be impossible to reach the 2014 deadline as established by the federal health care law.
The Obama Administration, eager to kick start work on the exchanges, will be funnel more than $185 million to states in order to assist with the establishment of an online insurance market – a key component to the exchanges. The online exchanges are to be the flagship of the reform, offering a virtual venue through which consumers can shop for affordable insurance coverage. The online market will prove a fundamental piece to a puzzle that is designed to operate electronically.
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According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the majority of the money has already been doled out to states with Democratic governors. Many of these states have been quick to make moves to build insurance exchanges. California, a traditionally Republican state, received the most money ($39.4 million).